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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Now We're Covering MMA: Miami Herald reporter living in combat world past.

From our newest reporter Keith Shillan. Today we're kicking off our coverage of mixed martial arts news and reviews in addition to our normal site content.

Miami Herald reporter living in combat world past by Keith Shillan.

Miami herald sports reporter Lyle Fitzsimmons watched one UFC fight on Spike TV and now he is an expert. He claims he tried to be a MMA fan in his recent article ( showing his complete ignorance towards the world’s fastest growing sport called Mixed Martial Arts. He watches one fight that showed ground technique and compares it to “gay hotel porn”. Being that Lyle is a reporter, one would think he would do some investigating instead of forming an uninformed conclusion. Perhaps watch more fights, maybe go to the public library and study Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, or even take a class. No instead he pokes fun at MMA and crowns “Boxing the NFL and MMA the XFL”. There are so many misconceptions here.

First MMA is currently more popular then boxing. The XFL was never more popular then the NFL. Second, the XFL was around for 1 year. The Ultimate Fighting Championship has been around since 1993. The UFC is the “next big thing” even if Lyle won’t acknowledge it.
Just a few years ago, the UFC was banned from both free television and pay per view. It was solely supported by live attendance (even though it wasn’t sanctioned in many states) and Internet viewers. Since then the UFC has changed many things. They have added weight classes, rounds, and more rules (like no kicks to the head of a downed opponent). MMA has now been sanctioned in many states. Yet it didn’t explode until the first season of the Ultimate Fighter reality show was aired on Spike TV in early 2005. Since then MMA has been like a virus spreading that nobody could stop. Pay Per View buys have over taken both Boxing and professional wrestling. Spike tv has added many more MMA related programs, including highlighted fights and even live events. Other stations (HBO, Showtime, ION, FOX, Versus, and others) have jumped on the MMA bandwagon, showing other MMA organizations as well (IFL, Elite XC, Bodog, Cage Rage, etc). The mainstream media has been forced to cover it. You can now see the recent UFC results on ESPN,, and AOL to name a few.

MMA fighters have now become household name. They are on the cover of popular magazines, appearing in movies and televisions shows, and doing endless radio and television interviews. Go to any high school in America and mention names like Chuck Liddell or Randy Couture and you will notice that everybody knows who they are. Then mention boxing champions like Wladimir Klitschko or Manny Pacquiao (2 popular boxing champs, not even the no name champs) and see how many people recognize the name. You will hear a lot of people standing around the water cooler talking about the Chuck Liddell vs Quinton Jackson fight but not the Jermaine Taylor vs Cory Spinks fight.

Boxing was a great sport. There has been classic battles like Ali vs Frazier and Leonard vs Hagler but those days are in the past. In today's society, we demand new and improved technology, and sports are no different. MMA is the new and improved combat sports. So maybe Lyle didn't like his one viewing of MMA, I challenge Lyle and anybody to view fights like Nick Diaz vs Takanori Gomi, Frank Edgar vs Tyson Griffin, or Roger Huerta vs Leonard Garcia and see if you still think MMA is nothing but “gay hotel porn”.

I once watched a soccer match and the final score was 1-0 on a shootout. Though soccer is not my sport, I do know that most matches won't end the same way. Maybe soon the Lyle will learn the same lesson.

Keith “Shill the Thrill” Shillan

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merjoem32 said...

I like MMA but I don't think that it has overtaken boxing at this time. The sport is on the rise and it is popular in the US but it is not yet popular in the international level.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry to inform you this but MMA is huge internationally. Watch any Pride event. The Tokyo dome sold out, they also fill soccer stadiums. In Brazil, MMA is only second to soccer. MMA is also big in Canada, Great Britian, Korea, and Russia.